Forensic scientist to help launch National Crime Reading Month

Followers of crime writing, and there were many of them at our recent book week, may be interested to learn that leading forensic scientist and author Professor Jim Fraser will be the guest speaker at the Scottish launch of the Crime Writers’ Association’s National Crime Reading Month (NCRM) in Edinburgh.

National Crime Reading Month runs throughout June and is organised by the CWA, which is celebrating its 70th jubilee year, in partnership with The Reading Agency.

Authors will be taking part in events in libraries, bookshops, conferences and festivals all over the UK, culminating in the Dagger Awards at the end of June.

Professor Fraser is a member of the CWA and a National Crime Reading Month Ambassador. A month-long celebration of one of the  most popular genres, NCRM aims to show how broad the crime genre is, from cosy to supernatural, classic crime to non-fiction, enabling new readers to discover new authors, and readers who have never read crime to dip in.

The Scottish launch, a free event, will be held at Edinburgh’s Central Library at George IV Bridge  at 6.30pm on Thursday June 1 when Professor Fraser will talk about NCRM, his high-profile career and his work as an author.

Professor Fraser spent his career as a forensic scientist and ‘cold case’ reviewer. He has been involved in many high-profile investigations, including the murders of Rachel Nickell, Damilola Taylor, Lin and Megan Russell, the serial child killer Robert Black, and the  death of Gareth Williams, the GCHQ codebreaker. As a member of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, he has also reviewed many notable cases, including the Lockerbie bombing.

Professor Fraser is an experienced media commentator and has appeared in many TV documentary programmes, including Killer at the Crime Scene (Channel 5) and David Wilson’s Crime Files (BBC Scotland).

His books include Murder Under the MicroscopeA Personal History of Homicide (Atlantic Books), Forensic Science – a very short introduction (Oxford University Press) and The Handbook of Forensic Science (Routledge).

Professor Fraser said: “I’m delighted to be involved in National Crime Reading Month, both as an author and an ambassador. Edinburgh’s Central Library is the perfect location for the Scottish launch because libraries play such a vital role in developing reading and introducing readers to new books, as well as being essential community hubs.”

Councillor Val Walker, Culture and Communities Convener, said: “I’m delighted that Edinburgh Libraries has been chosen to launch the Scottish National Crime Reading Month and that the 70th year of The Crime Writers Association will be celebrated at Central Library.

“Last year, one in five books issued by Edinburgh Libraries was in the Crime and Thriller Genre, so hosting this Scottish Launch in our Capital city, where historical crime is still a tourist attraction from Burke and Hare to our Witchery Tours, will be an exceptional and fitting event.

“Edinburgh Libraries are keen to develop reading habits and champion a diverse range of Scottish Crime authors ranging from classics Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson to the ever-popular Ian Rankin and Val McDermid as well as newer writers Sue Black and Tariq Ashkanani.”

During NCRM in 2022, more than 100 events took place and 2023 promises to be even bigger. The festival sees a huge range of events and activities from library displays to guided walks and films plus authors staging talks, readings, workshops and ‘in conversation’ evenings.

Although the Scottish launch is a free event, places must booked and are available by visiting and searching for Scottish National Crime Writers Month.

You can find out more about National Crime Writing Month, including what is happening in your area, at and hashtag PickUpaPageTurner

Published by johndean1

I am a UK-based journalist and author

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